Carli Lloyd blasts USWNT atmosphere: ‘The culture within the team was the worst I’ve ever seen it’

One of the most decorated players in the history of the United States, Carli Lloyd, had some things to say speaking with her former teammate Hope Solo on the Hope Solo Speaks podcast earlier this week. Lloyd retired at the end of last season with NJ/NY Gotham and has over 316 appearances with the national team, where she’s scored 134 goals while winning gold at the Olympics twice, winning the world cup twice and the SheBelieves Cup four times.

But while she performed on the field, Lloyd wasn’t happy with the team as a whole saying, “I wanted to win and I wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

Lloyd clarified some of these comments in a video she posted where she said, “And by culture, I am referring to mentality, respect for coaches, teammates, support staff. I am also talking about the drive, the desire, the hunger, the fight, the accepting the role and doing it to the best of your ability.”

Lloyd didn’t comment on specific teammates who she felt weren’t embodying this, but playing under five different coaches during her time with the national team, it’s only natural that everyone wouldn’t be on the same page. And, of course, with the team fighting for equal pay while handling a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer, there have been many off-field issues to confront.

In Lloyd’s video she also said, “You can have the most talented people working for you, you can have the most talented players playing on the team, but if there is no collective one, if there is no collective goal, no team and no business can be successful with a poor culture,”

Even with her stature in the game, Lloyd has been a polarizing player. She declined to take a knee before the Bronze medal match of the Olympics in August of 2021.  Her reluctance to speak out about social issues during a time when the team became notable for taking a front-footed approach on a myriad of issues certainly could be part of the rift.

Lloyd’s statements clearly suggest that she wanted to keep things focused on the performance on the field and felt that others around the team were not invested enough in winning. Lloyd’s words on her last few years sums it up nicely, “To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in. It was only for love of the game, really, for me.”

When other things overshadowed her love of the game, it was time to walk away.

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